GOT A HANKERING FOR ALL THINGS HANDMADE AND HOMEGROWN?
Look no further than Greater Napanee’s Hometown Market series!
Doors to the municipality’s much anticipated Indoor Spring Market opened at 10 a.m. on March 26th, with customers lined up outside in advance. By 10:15, shoppers browsed elbow to elbow, checking out the fabulous array of goods on offer at Strathcona Paper Centre’s banquet hall, home to all indoor markets sponsored by Greater Napanee. An outdoor summer market featuring plenty of fresh produce operates from the same location, out on the south lawn.
“We’re here because we live in town and we like to check out the local crafts,” said enthusiastic customer Lorraine, who preferred not to give her last name. “My neighbour picked me up and brought me along because I’ve never been.”
UNIQUE + LOCAL FINDS
Nearly thirty vendors set up booths at this first market event of 2022, proudly showing off their wares. Whether you came seeking bath products, dresses rebirthed from recycled thrifted lace or handcrafted serving boards made from local hardwood, the Indoor Spring Market appeared to have it all. Where else might one find The Witching Hour, purveyor of jewellery made from ethically sourced bone, as well as Janet’s Doll Fashions, home to stunning handmade outfits perfect for Ken and Barbie, all under one roof?
“It’s not about selling something in a box, ordered from somewhere else,” explained Kylie Huffman, the town’s Community Programming Clerk, attributing some of the market’s variety to Covid creativity. “A lot of people picked up new hobbies over the past couple of years, or started small businesses.”
While avoiding duplicates can be a logistical nightmare for most market organizers, the region’s wealth of artisans and craftspeople practically guarantees these quarterly market events consistently provide a veritable smorgasbord of treasures. Both Huffman and Annie Manion, Greater Napanee’s Manager of Community Economic Development, noted that this year’s one-day spring extravaganza featured lots of new faces offering a wide range of products.
EVERY VENDOR HAS A STORY
The Seed and Stem Collective’s Maranda Kent started selling hand-made fresh flower arrangements just two weeks ago and declared the Indoor Spring event marked her entrepreneurial debut. Crediting time spent working at Janet’s Flowers in Napanee with helping provide an invaluable skillset, Kent hopes to imbue her own market bouquets with a unique look all her own.
The Good Home Company, run by bubbly Kaitlan Benn, has been around a little longer. In search of a creative outlet despite the demands inherent to parenting two toddlers, Benn established her business making and selling hand-poured soy-blend candles, wax melts and lovely scented linen sprays two years ago.
Armed with a degree in animal biology from the University of Guelph and currently finishing up qualifications to become a Veterinary Technician, Brianna Jackson’s Hankies n’ Paws booth showed off an assortment of stylish bandanas for dogs. This inventive craftswoman also makes custom-made shirts for pet owners, hand-stamped tags, doggy treats and unique Christmas ornaments for people who adore their pets.
“This combines two things I love, animals and sewing,” Jackson chuckled from behind her mask, explaining her pet-centred side-hustle started after she inherited her grandmother’s sewing machine. Lovers of arts and crafts came away happy from Greater Napanee’s first market of the year.
MARK-ET ON YOUR CALENDAR
Feeling a little FOMO with March already in the rearview? Don’t worry. Check out the municipality’s website for a list of Hometown Markets yet to come!